10/03/2015 13:47 GMT | Updated 10/05/2015 06:59 BST

Fifty Shades of Unemployment

I have to be honest and say that I didn't really read the contract, but after briefly skimming it I did notice some key words such as 'self loathing' and 'punishment.' I assumed this was all part of the job seeking process so I went ahead and signed.


My unemployment was developed from a document entitled Chris' Curriculum Vitae, which was posted on a One Direction fan fiction site known as Deemed unsuitable due to its lack of skills, the CV was removed from the site and sent out as an email, which rapidly filled the trash and spam folders of several employers across the country.

I began a relationship with the Department for Work and Pensions, who agreed to help me look for a job if I submitted to their demands completely. I have to be honest and say that I didn't really read the contract, but after briefly skimming it I did notice some key words such as 'self loathing' and 'punishment.' I assumed this was all part of the job seeking process so I went ahead and signed (although I signed it very slowly as I didn't want to appear clingy).


I was then introduced to the playroom (or 'the beige room' as I called it), where I was told that all my job seeking fantasies would be fulfilled. After about thirty five minutes of foreplay, which involved me staring into space on a slightly less than comfortable chair until my eyes began to water and my lower back began to ache, it was time for my appointment.

I was rather keen to start my job search, but it appeared that I had to first submit to a role play which involved filling out several forms that were all only very slightly different from one another. Once it was done and my advisor was satisfied, we got down to it (the followed exchange is best enjoyed if one imagines romantic music playing over it):

Adviser: 'Let's have a look at your qualifications... I can't see why you're not getting any jobs, it says here that you've got a degree in Finance.'

Me: 'Oh, degree was actually in Fine Art...'

Adviser: 'Oh right, well that explains it...'

It was agreed that the reason I wasn't getting any jobs was due to the fact that my CV wasn't very good, so I went away and rewrote it with my top off, in an attempt to distract from its lack of skills and relevant qualifications. It didn't work.

After about a month, cracks began to appear in the relationship. This was mainly due to the Job Centre's growing jealousy of the other aspects of my life: friends, any literature that wasn't to do with cover letter writing tips, and trying to have a life generally. I ended up feeling guilty whenever I was doing something other than looking and applying for jobs - surely every minute of the day could be spent attempting to be employed, so every minute that I was spending not doing this was a potential missed opportunity. Add up all the minutes in a day and that's a large amount of opportunities to potentially get a job that I squandered. This guilt followed me everywhere, to the supermarket, to the shower, and to the office where I did an unpaid internship.


My relationship with the Job Centre came to a dramatic end one day when I was not only five minutes late for an appointment, but also had the audacity to express my disinterest in a sales assistant role at the Hounslow branch of Boots. This was the straw that broke the camel's back and now I was really in the dog house - plus any other animal related idiom that comes to mind.

I took the break-up pretty badly - I spent most days ringing up the Department for Work and Pensions and being put on hold for forty minutes at a time. I soon gave up, after watching all seasons of Gilmore Girls and getting some sound relationship advice from Lorelai and Rory, I realised that my relationship with the job centre was an unhealthy one and I would be happier without it.

I ended up choosing other avenues of job seeking, such as releasing an audiobook of my CV, read by the MP Tim Farron. The Job Centre rang me one more time to arrange an appointment for me to sign off, I told them I'd have to check my schedule as I'd recently decided to join a boy band and I envisaged being fairly busy with rehearsing harmonies and dance routines. Although they seemed irritated by this, I could tell they were secretly happy for me.

All illustrations and music copyright blogger's own